Marketers: ever wonder what the best course of action is after your customer makes the first purchase? 

That crucial moment in the relationship between brand and customer — the stage after purchase — is where the real work comes in to nurture the relationship. 

We recently looked at the top 49 UK brands to see how they used digital marketing channels to engage their customers. Here are four takeaways from that study which marketers can use to engage with their customers post purchase:

4 Tips to Spring Your Customers Back Into Action

1. Individualized Content

Remember who you are speaking to and personalize accordingly. 

The last thing you want is for the customer to pass your brand off as just another irrelevant message. Individualizing your efforts across email, mobile apps and social media provides digital marketing experiences are what your customers expect. 

The little things count, whether it's remembering their birthday or anticipating their shopping needs. While this might seem pretty straightforward, many companies are still missing this simple step. 

This recurring theme surfaced in the study, which showed that while many companies collect data on their customers for personalization, very few actually take any action. A Forbes Insights study confirms these findings. Seventy-nine percent of companies in that study rated individualization a high priority, yet only 43 percent deliver individualized experiences the majority of the time.

how close are we to achieving individualized marketing?

How do you optimize the level of personalization in your newsletters and more? One option is to offer your customers a preference center, which allows them to select the content and delivery frequency. At the same time, individualize the content itself based on the customer's preferences. 

Just having the data isn't enough — you have the data, so use it. 

2. Push Notifications 

To engage with your on the go customers, push notifications are a sure way of doing so. The key is finding the right balance: you want your brand to be present, relevant and ready to swoop in at the right time, but you don’t want to be an annoyance. 

The study showed 12 percent of Android apps sent one to three messages per month and only 5 percent sent one to two messages per week — the rest sent none at all.

This is a missed opportunity. 

Learning Opportunities

Push messages keep your customers engaged. They help ensure you contact customers at the most convenient time of day for them, while maximizing the response rate. Don't be afraid to engage your users! They've downloaded your app, so clearly they are interested in your content. Without continuous engagement they might stop using the app — and then you've lost them altogether.

Communication is the key when you are trying to nurture any kind of relationship. If you want to continue to see a fruitful relationship with your customers it is necessary to communicate with them at the right time, with the right frequency and via the right channel. You can also further engage your customers with push messages, by including a call to action, action button, abandoned cart or emoji's. The more you the engage the better results you reap. 

3. Bring Them Back to the Website

Purchase behavior patterns are much easier to identify post purchase, making it that much easier for you to continue nurturing your customer's needs. Mobile proved to be the strongest for offering incentives to buy online, with Facebook just behind offering incentives for in-store. 

However, it was interesting to see that not many companies took advantage of email marketing as a means to encourage customers to buy online or in-store. 

companies offering in-store and online shopping incentives

4. Celebrate Milestones

You are on a journey with your customer and as a result you need to celebrate both your brand's milestones as well as your customer's. 

If you've requested a date of birth, wish them a happy birthday and add in an online or in-store offer to make things festive. 

Celebrating an anniversary between brand and customer or celebrating your own company's success gives you a chance to keep in touch. Come on marketers — don’t miss out on these opportunities to make your customers feel special.

The Secret to Successful Relationships

The relationship doesn't end once the purchase is made. Just like in a marriage where you take a vow to be there for your spouse through thick and thin, through health and sickness — so too do you need to be there for customers. 

To reap the benefits of any relationship it takes hard work, commitment and nurturing. These tips are just the beginning. Consider the entire lifecycle and connect the data points between your customer's behavior on a website, email, mobile or social. Build your relationship with the individual customer at every step of that lifecycle. 

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